Pakistan

SHC extends stay on IG Khawaja’s removal

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court extended its stay order on the removal of Inspector General of Sindh Police, A.D Khawaja, directing the police chief to discharge his duties till further orders.

Headed by Justice Muneeb Akhtar a division bench adjourned the hearing till May 23 when the Advocate General Sindh, Barrister Zameer Ghumro would pick up his arguments where he left off today.

While forwarding his arguments, Ghumro contended today that the provincial government has authority to appoint IG Sindh of its own choosing and the federal government should concede to its authority in the matter.

He said that the laws governing federal and provincial subjects were clear and the present situation didn’t warrant formation of a commission to find an amicable solution as the Council of Common Interest (CCI) has been the right forum to discuss such matters.

The petitioners’ lawyer said there was some doubt about the way IG Khawaja’s offer to leave his post as it fueled suspicions that he might have given such statement under duress. The IG Sindh should be summoned to the court to clarify the situation, he added.

During previous hearing, IG Khawaja had informed the bench through his counsel that he wanted to leave the post as it had become increasingly difficult for him to continue under such circumstances.

Earlier in April, the Government of Sindh had surrendered the services of A.D Khawaja to the center and appointed additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti in his place.

However, the civil rights organizations slammed the decision and took the government to the court.

The provincial government had to suffer a setback on March 3 when the high court suspended its notification restoring AD Khawaja as IG Sindh and asking the new IG to relinquish the charge.

The court observed that the IG could be removed only after the cabinet endorses the decision as the apex court had held in its verdict that the provincial governments could exercise their statutory powers that are conferred on them through cabinet.

In the wake of court’s order, the Sindh government had summoned the cabinet meeting, which endorsed the removal of AD Khawaja and appointment of additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti in his place.

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